It was my very first time in London, for more than a layover that is; and the purpose of this trip was to make it to the Wimbledon Tennis Grounds.
I never imagined how difficult Wimbledon would be to get into…
If you do not belong to the Wimbledon Club, already have tickets via a lottery sort of system, or make attempts to win tickets online daily at 9am, then the only way in is to get up early (like at 4am) and head to the Wimbledon Tennis Grounds entrance.
After our 3 consecutive days of unsuccessful attempts to try to win tickets online, at exactly 9am, we decided that our final chance was to do it the old fashion way: standing in line like concert groupies.
We had a plan:
- Anthony would wake up really early and stand in line.
- Then I would get more rest and get ready for the day and meet him in line.
- Then he could come back to our hotel (35 mins from the line) to cleanup eat, while I stand in line.
- And then would come back to join me in the line and we would be all set.
Well our well thought out plan fell apart just after Anthony got to the line and had already been standing there about 1 hour (awwwwww).
They would only hand him one ticket since I wasn’t physically there I could not get one. That totally makes sense right.. how did we not realize this DUH! So I got a call from AF to get my butt sown to the line ASAP. I poped-up out of bed and ran (or rush Uber it ) down to the entrance in 45 mins or so. By the way I had no internet so that meant no way of communicating with Anthony, but somehow when I got to he line (which grew by the second at 5:15am), I couldn’t believe it…. Anthony was literally directly across from me in line hahaha. He had a ticket approx. 1000 people ahead of me; yep I’am saying that from approx. 4:15-5:15 am the line grew in over one thousand people. He was amazed that I got to the line in just under an hour from the hotel and I found him right away.
I admit it is a daunting task to stand in the line but it was a HUGE part of all he fun and my entire Wimbledon experience! I met such great people in line. It was about 6 of us that were complete strangers, (from California and all parts of the UK) to each other and we totally talked and joked the entire 4 plus hours before hitting the Wimbledon grounds. It was great!
Once inside, I headed straight to the shop and purchased my Wimbledon white hat to go with my Wimbledon all white attire for the day. It’s a tradition of Wimbledon to have players in all white. I actually didn’t even realize that when I dressed in my white linen pants and white tank… I just really wanted to stay nice in cool since it was about over 80 degrees in Fahrenheit. Later I ended up trying to stay cool, off of the courts and out of the sun, by looking at the various gift shops and there I found my new favorite shirt: the Ralph Lauren for Wimbledon short sleeved collared shirt. I love white collared shirts but in the summertime the short sleeve option is so much better. (read more below…)
Ok so I must admit I barely even know how to keep score in tennis. I think I got it, but sometimes I am still confused … I really was here in support of Anthony’s love for Tennis. However, I think anyone can generally understand who is doing better per set without even knowing how to keep exact score (hehehehe). When I come out and watch tennis I know it’s an all day thing, so my general routine is to grab a cocktail and sit there with my head going back and forth following the ball and simply enjoying the sport. Since here at Wimbledon the tradition is to have a Pimm’s and Strawberries and Cream… I, right away, grabbed my Pimm’s cocktail and my Strawberries and Cream and headed for the courts.
This is my approach to watching tennis. I let Anthony be the real serious one and I take a back seat. He takes it so serious sometimes.
Since I actually only had a grounds pass, meaning I could not actually see any big names that were playing on the center court nor the main courts; But I was fine with just that. Many people prefer to stay on the grounds because you can see a whole lot of tennis form names coming up. Anthony, being ahead of me a whole thousand people, was able to gain access to court 1. I was happy for him as he’s the true tennis fanatic. I was able to get on court one much later in the day but just in time to watch Venus Williams play! Once you get on the grounds anyone can wait in another line to pick up a ticket to the main courts from those whom chosen to leave Wimbledon. They are sold for about 5-10 Euro, and are well worth it. I stood in line for about 25 mins, which was nothing compared to the morning line and got my ticket to see Venus. It was so hot that day and after pretty much sunbathing while watching lots of tennis, I sadly left the match about 2/3 rds of the way in to call it a day. In total: I had a full 14 hours of a Wimbledon experience. I was fulfilled with my tennis watching, a bit tired, totally sunbathed and tan, had my souvenirs and was finally ready to shower, eat dinner and go to bed with a successful day !
I have to mention the best parts of being at Wimbledon for me* goes beyond the Tennis… It was seeing the gorgeous grounds.. with so many flowers, well manicured greenery & the uniforms of each Wimbledon employees! How cool is it they they are all designed by Ralph Lauren! The whole place is so chic and overall awesome!
Hope you get a chance to go to Wimbledon too!